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Latest Environment Stories
Freshwater pearl mussels Margaritifera margaritifera
Projects for pearl mussels and conservation of breeding curlew are among the 23 schemes being carried out nationwide under the European Innovation Partnership (EIP), as highlighted in a new exhibition in Dublin. Agriculture House on Kildare Street is currently showcasing…
Prof Andrew Bowie, TCD with Minister of State Sean Canney and Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland
Inland Fisheries Ireland and the School of Natural Sciences at Trinity College Dublin have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU will enable both institutions to collaborate across fisheries research projects. Sean Canney, Minister of State with responsibility for…
Coastal Patrol Vessel (CPV) LÉ Orla is one of a pair of Peacock class in the Irish Naval Service and is seen berthed yesterday in Kinsale Harbour. Vehicles of the Irish Coast Guard are parked on Customs Quay which AFLOAT adds is the sole commercial quay in the south-west Co. Cork harbour.
#coastalnotes - Communities along the coast reports Independent.ie have been warned that local intelligence is critical if Ireland is to win the battle against drug-smuggling gangs. Gardaí, Customs and Excise, and the Naval Service urged people suspicious of any activities…
John Kerry will deliver the keynote address in Cork
Former US Secretary of State John Kerry has been announced as a keynote speaker at Ireland’s flagship blue economy conference Our Ocean Wealth at City Hall Cork on June 9th & 10th. The determined environmentalist and former presidential candidate is…
Hoylake RNLI volunteers and other emergency services worked together to free the trapped horse on the Wirral coast
Horse riders and owners have been warned over taking their animals to beaches or mudflats after two separate rescue incidents in the UK in recent days Last Saturday (13 April) two horses and their riders were rescued from thick mud…
Cormac Lowth is one of Ireland’s leading amateur maritime historians. The support of his late wife Barbara has enabled him to develop a remarkable collection of material
The heartfelt sympathies of all those with extensive interests in the culture and history of the maritime world are with Cormac Lowth of Dublin and his sons on the sad loss of his wife and their mother Barbara, writes W…
EirGrid Opens Consultation on South Coast Landfall of Celtic Interconnector
The State’s electricity transmission grid operator EirGrid has opened a two-month consultation on proposed south coast landfall and converter station locations for its electricity link between France and Ireland writes Lorna Siggins. The Celtic Interconnector will be the first direct…
A screenshot of the new Marine Institute "app" to avoid fish discards at sea
Eight years after British celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall campaigned to end the EU’s wasteful practice of encouraging skippers to dump unwanted fish at sea, a new Marine Institute “app” aims to make life easier for Irish fishing vessels writes Lorna…
The RV Celtic Voyager is currently engaged in a survey of the Celtic Sea
The first in a series of hydrographic and geophysical surveys to be undertaken in the Celtic Sea and Atlantic Ocean under the INFOMAR programme between April and October 2019 is now under way. The RV Celtic Voyager (callsign EIQN) set…
(from left to right): Colin Armstrong (Dept. Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs), Dr Pieter-Jan Schӧn (Agri-Food and Bioscience Institute), Gina McIntyre (CEO, Special EU Programmes Body), Dr David Bailey (Principal Investigator, University of Glasgow), Ross McGill (Principal Project Officer, Loughs Agency), Dr Peter Heffernan (CEO, Marine Institute), Joe Mahon, Sharon McMahon (Designated Officer, Loughs Agency), Dr Robert Rosell (Principal Investigator, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute)  © Mark Hamill Photography
A unique marine research project, the first of its kind in Europe, studying the seas around Ireland, Western Scotland and Northern Ireland was launched this week in Derry–Londonderry. The SeaMonitor project is led by the Loughs Agency and supported by…
A computer rendering of the proposed Páirc na Mara in Connemara
Galway Bay FM reports that An Bord Pleanála has refused planning permission for a development at a Connemara site overseen by Udarás na Gaeltachta. Plans for the Páirc na Mara facility were previously approved by Galway County Council, but continued…
Sailors Asked To Help Spot Migrating Puffins
I remember when I first saw the Puffin seabirds. It was my first time sailing along the Kerry coastline and it was off Portmagee, on the appropriately named Puffin Island. We had closed the small Island south of Valentia which…
The Marine Institute’s research facility in Newport, Co Mayo
The Marine Institute’s research facility in Newport, Co Mayo will open its doors to primary school children this week and to the general public for an open day this Sunday 14 April from 11am to 4pm. Primary pupils from Newport, Kilmeena, Carrowaholly, Glenhest,…
Welsh RV Prince Madog of Bangor University and Irish counterpart RV Celtic Voyager of the Marine Institute, Oranmore, Co. Galway, berthed at Menai Bridge Pier, Anglesey, north Wales (in Sept. 2017) during the official launch of the BlueFish Project, a collaboration between the two nations to examine the effect of climate change on fish and shellfish sustainability in the Irish Sea. AFLOAT adds the design of RV Prince Madog (2001) is based on the older Irish vessel (1997) though the Welsh RV is some 4m longer, however the similarities end in terms of a significantly different superstructure on the Menai Strait based vessel. In the 2018 Irish budget provision was made to replace the RV Celtic Voyager with a 50m newbuild.
#marinescience - The Welsh Government should do "everything they can" to save a research ship used by Bangor University and utilise it as a National Research Vessel for Wales, according to Ynys Môn Assembly Member Rhun ap Iorwerth. As the…
Highs & Lows For Ireland’s Ocean Health In Coastwatch Survey Results
New seagrass beds are among the heartening finds announced at the launch of results from the most recent Coastwatch Survey, as Coast Monkey reports. But the launch event in Dublin last Friday (5 April) also heard that hard erosion controls,…
The IWDG team use local authority diggers to examine the sperm whale remains on Streedagh Strand
#MarineWildlife - A team from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) was on site at Streedagh Strand in Sligo yesterday (Thursday 4 April) to investigate the third sperm whale stranding in a matter of days along Ireland’s West Coast.…

For all you need on the Marine Environment - covering the latest news and updates on marine science and wildlife, weather and climate, power from the sea and Ireland's coastal regions and communities - the place to be is Afloat.ie.

Coastal Notes

The Coastal Notes category covers a broad range of stories, events and developments that have an impact on Ireland's coastal regions and communities, whose lives and livelihoods are directly linked with the sea and Ireland's coastal waters.

Topics covered in Coastal Notes can be as varied as the rare finding of sea-life creatures, an historic shipwreck with secrets to tell, or even a trawler's net caught hauling much more than just fish.

Other angles focusing the attention of Coastal Notes are Ireland's maritime museums, which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of our nautical heritage, and those who harvest the sea using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety pose an issue, plying their trade along the rugged wild western seaboard.

Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied as the environment they come from, and which shape people's interaction with the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

Marine Wildlife

One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with Marine Wildlife. It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. And as boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify, even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat. Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse, it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to our location in the North Atlantic, there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe. From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals, the Marine Wildlife category documents the most interesting accounts around our shores. And we're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and video clips, too!

Also valuable is the unique perspective of all those who go afloat, from coastal sailing to sea angling to inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing, as what they encounter can be of great importance to organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). Thanks to their work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. But as impressive as the list is, the experts believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves, keep a sharp look out!

Weather

As an island in the North Atlantic, Ireland's fate is decided by Weather more so than many other European countries. When storm-force winds race across the Irish Sea, ferry and shipping services are cut off, disrupting our economy. When swollen waves crash on our shores, communities are flooded and fishermen brace for impact - both to their vessels and to their livelihoods.

Keeping abreast of the weather, therefore, is as important to leisure cruisers and fishing crews alike - for whom a small craft warning can mean the difference between life and death - as it is to the communities lining the coast, where timely weather alerts can help protect homes and lives.

Weather affects us all, and Afloat.ie will keep you informed on the hows and the whys.

Marine Science

Perhaps it's the work of the Irish research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of Marine Science for the future growth of Ireland's emerging 'blue economy'.

From marine research to development and sustainable management, Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. Whether it's Wavebob ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration, the Marine Science category documents the work of Irish marine scientists and researchers and how they have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

Power From The Sea

The message from the experts is clear: offshore wind and wave energy is the future. And as Ireland looks towards the potential of the renewable energy sector, generating Power From The Sea will become a greater priority in the State's 'blue growth' strategy.

Developments and activities in existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector, and those of the energy exploration industry, point to the future of energy requirements for the whole world, not just in Ireland. And that's not to mention the supplementary industries that sea power projects can support in coastal communities.

Irish ports are already in a good position to capitalise on investments in offshore renewable energy services. And Power From The Sea can even be good for marine wildlife if done properly.

Aside from the green sector, our coastal waters also hold a wealth of oil and gas resources that numerous prospectors are hoping to exploit, even if people in coastal and island areas are as yet unsure of the potential benefits or pitfalls for their communities.

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